The Renaissance And Reformation And The Reformation

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The Renaissance and Reformation – two of Europe’s largest movements – grappled many of the same issues. Both these movements addressed the question of human fate and tried to make changes to entities and institutions in society. These broad similarities allow some to believe that the Renaissance and Reformation had a relationship in which the former caused the latter. However, while both the Renaissance and Reformation deal with questions of human fate and are movements of change, the answers they had to the this question and the changes they made were contradictory and thus complicate and dispel the notion that the Renaissance engendered the Reformation. In both the Renaissance and the Reformation, people questioned the role humans…show more content…
This preoccupation with human dignity that Pico expresses was characteristic of the Renaissance humanists. As an intellectual movement, the Renaissance was a time in which human reason and knowledge was praised for its power – a central and distinct view. Whereas humans are praised during the Renaissance for their ability to choose their fate, the view during the Reformation was the opposite; God decided it. Such is evident in the beliefs of two Reformation figures - Muntzer and Luther. Both shared the belief that God is the sole decision-maker in human fate. In his work, A Highly Provoked Defense, Muntzer describes the doctrine of predestination in which “God determined individuals who would be saved and those who would be condemned [to hell]” (Viault, 52). Muntzer calls the ones granted salvation the elect (Muntzer, 8). This doctrine highlights the supreme power of God over humanity and asserts that humans had no power over their fate. Luther shared the same belief in the omniscient power of god. One of Luther’s main teachings was sola gratia meaning “by grace alone”. Similar to the predestination doctrine, sola gratia recognizes that humans cannot receive salvation for any works they do; rather, it is determined by the grace of God. In this view, humans have no power over fate; their only duty is to serve God: the provider of their salvation. The Renaissance and reformation have
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